Mitigating flow induced vibration in heater radiant coil
ADNOC Refining Research Centre Division (RCD), ADNOC Refining, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), PO Box 3593, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
* Corresponding author: email@example.com
Accepted: 18 June 2018
Vibration of process heater tubes in a fired heater can cause fretting-wear damage of the tubes at the locations of contact points with the supports. For the reboiler of a naphtha splitter in a naphtha hydrotreating unit, a scenario of fretting-wear damage was observed exactly at contact areas between the top return bends and the hanger supports, which likely indicated constant rubbing between them during vibration. A root-cause analysis of this tube vibration problem was carried out through a combined study of process simulation, Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and vibration analysis. Results from CFD simulations revealed dual phase flow inducing pressure fluctuations inside the radiant tube. The predicted pressure fluctuations were further analyzed using Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) to identify the dominant frequency of pressure fluctuations. Some of the resulting dominant frequencies were within 20% band of the estimated natural frequency of the tube, which could lead to resonance mode. This predicted resonant vibration matched with the locations of severe grooving, as reported in the heater inspection report. A scenario of mitigating this resonance mode has also been presented through decreasing feed flow rates to the radiant tube coils and installing additional support at the mid-height of the radiant tube coils.
© T. Firmansyah et al., published by IFP Energies nouvelles, 2018
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